By Thai Luong, Kapi‘o Staff Writer
Kapi’olani Community College is an evolving campus that ranks at the top in student transfer to University of Hawaii Manoa, boasts one of the most ethnically diverse student populations in the nation, and is on course for a historic renovation of its campus via a Title III (Part F) grant for Native Hawaiian-serving institutions.
The school is continually getting better, but one issue has to yet to be resolved: the lack of parking spaces on campus.
Undoubtedly, KCC’s shortage of stalls has been an annoying problem for students, faculty, and staff. It’s not an easy problem to fix right away, but it shouldn’t be left alone either.
Students are constantly fighting with each other for parking stalls, and adding tourists and hikers to the mix only makes the problem worse. Many hikers and tourists use the spaces in Parking Lots B and C and walk to the nearby popular Diamond Head State Monument rather than pay a $5 automobile entry fee at the trail.
KCC needs to regulate who uses its lots and should only allow students and staff to park at the school. Visitors to campus should have approval to park on campus, but for only a limited amount of time. The students who attend KCC should have first priority for parking; people who have no business at the school shouldn’t be able to park here at all.
There are approximately 1,300 parking stalls available to students. There are more than 8,300 students attending KCC.
KCC currently has five parking lots available around the campus; constructing another parking lot would add more stalls and reduce the stress that comes with finding parking. One parking lot in particular that could be expanded is Lot D below the Olapa building. Students may notice while walking up the stairs from Lot D that there is a lot of open space that could be transformed into an additional parking lot. This additional parking lot would help increase the number of stalls available and reduce the congestion among the other parking lots.
When parking space is so limited around KCC, any free space that the school has could be a future parking lot. It’s an investment worth considering.
One of the main reasons why students drive to school is due to the lack of efficiency in public transportation. There are only around four buses that come to KCC, and none of them are express. The length of time it takes to ride the bus to campus may be equivalent to the wait students endure to find parking. In addition to adding another parking lot, KCC should offer a shuttle service that would directly transport students at a few main destinations nonstop to school.
College students are stressed with work, school and social life. The amount of stress should not be amplified by the daily struggle to find parking. Some students arrive at school hours before the start of their class just to find an empty stall.
KCC is one of the top community colleges in the state. With anticipated increases in enrollment in the future, the parking situation needs to be addressed now.